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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Defending Psy



It's safe to say that the virtual wildfire that is Gangnam Style has an undeniably catchy beat and overly stimulating visuals. I mean, 817, 000,000 and counting- I repeat: Eight Hundred Seventeen MILLION and counting- YouTube views don't just "happen". While there's something to be said about the music's contagiousness and the music video's absurdity giving rise to the sensational success, I think that Psy's lyrics are a huge factor to take into consideration.

I have absolutely no idea what he is saying, but it sounds great. His rhyme scheme is easy and fun to follow along, consistent and powerful enough to make language a non-issue when responding to the song. The best part though, is that the ideas conveyed are not as simple and digestible as the music suggests. After googling for a translation, I was surprised to learn the lyrics weren't as terrible as some of the images led me to assume.  

Visually, the video zooms in on yoga butt, but song wise, he is searching for a classy girl who knows how to enjoy a cup of coffee.  He flashes money and fancy cars, but admits he values brain over brawn.  He announces himself as a pragmatic man who knows how to be calm, but then play when it's time to play, yet sits on a public toilet and shout singing at the camera. There's an incongruent dichotomy at play here.  I'll just assume the goal was to attract as much attention as possible.  However, I, for one, didn't tune in three consecutive times to see a grown man on a toilet or a bunch of music video chicks bounce around like more conservative Playboy bunnies-  I think on some level there is a basic honesty Psy exudes, and after being able to read the lyrics I feel a little more sure about that.

His behavior is still obviously ridiculous, but if his words are genuine, Psy is more sensible-sensitive-yet-schitzophrenic dreamer versus misogynist-loonbasket in my book.


PSY- Gangnam Style, English translation from kpoplyrics.net

Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style

A girl who is warm and human during the day
A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that

I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two

You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

From: http://www.kpoplyrics.net/psy-gangnam-style-lyrics-english-romanized.html#ixzz2DFqbMS1n
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2 comments:

  1. i had read a great article about the cultural context of this song, how it's a strong parody of the opulence of gangnam life, but i can't find it! here is a similar one...
    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1259262--gangnam-style-south-korean-rapper-psy-s-social-commentary

    the one i read previously even touched on the "coffee" lyric, saying that it's common for people to buy starbucks coffee as a status symbol, and that it's quite expensive in relation to their wages, so there's this culture of girls eating pot noodles so they can afford luxury coffees.

    ReplyDelete

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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